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Safer Sleep Week to raise awareness of SIDS

Invaluable advice is being provided to parents and carers across the Tees area to help reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) in babies and toddlers.

The charitable organisation, Lullaby Trust, is raising awareness of SIDS through its national campaign Safer Sleep Week, which takes place between March 11 and 17, 2019.

The focus of the 2019 campaign is on helping parents to make informed choices about co-sleeping and to avoid hazardous co-sleeping.

The Lullaby Trust highlights that co-sleeping is still very popular, but hazardous co-sleeping is a key risk factor in SIDS

Co-sleeping increases the chance of SIDS and is particularly dangerous if:

  • Either partner smokes (even if you do not smoke in the bedroom)
  • Either partner has drunk alcohol or taken drugs (including medications that may make you drowsy)
  • You are extremely tired
  • Your baby was born premature (37 weeks or less)
  • Your baby was born at a low weight (2.5kg or 5½ lbs or less)

You should never sleep together with your baby if any of the above points apply to you.

Of particular importance is highlighting that you should NEVER co-sleep on a sofa or armchair with your baby as this can increase the risk of SIDS fifty-fold.

The Tees Child Death Overview Panel (CDOP) is encouraging parents and carers to follow the advice provided by the Lullaby Trust and has also produced a Protect your little bundle….from birth and beyondbooklet which offers advice to new parents about the risks of unintentional injuries and preventable case of deaths and emergency hospital admissions for babies and children. As art of the Healthier Together service, Health Visitors will be giving these to all new parents across the Tees.

Edward Kunonga, Director of Public Health, Middlesbrough and Redcar & Cleveland Councils, and chair of the Tees Child Death Overview Panel, said that safer sleep advice is proven to be effective and saves lives.

He said: “Five babies die of SIDS every week in the UK and some of these deaths could be prevented.

“There are simple steps parents can take to help keep their babies safe, and this simple guidance, such as never sleeping on a sofa or in an armchair with your baby, can help prevent such tragic events from happening.

“We hope that by supporting this national campaign we raise awareness to parents and carers so they can ensure their babies are sleeping as safely as possible.” 

  • For more information on Safer Sleep Week or to read up on the advice, please visit the Lullaby